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Bilateral Brief

India - Brazil Relations

India and Brazil share a very close and multifaceted relationship at bilateral level as well as in plurilateral fora such as BRICS, BASIC, G-20, G-4, IBSA, International Solar Alliance, Biofuture Platform and in the larger multilateral bodies such as the UN, WTO, UNESCO and WIPO. The decade long bilateral strategic partnership, which has opened a new phase for India-Brazil relations, is based on a common global vision, shared democratic values, and a commitment to foster economic growth with social inclusion for the welfare of the people of both countries.

Political Relations:

India’s strategic partnership with Brazil continued to intensify in 2017. PM met his counterpart President Michel Temer on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in China on 4 September, 2017. EAM also met her counterpart Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes on 20 September, 2017 on the sidelines of UNGA. Key issues of bilateral importance were discussed during the meetings, opening up opportunities on both sides to take this strategic partnership forward. Previously, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and President Michel Temer met at the VIII BRICS Summit which took place on October 15-16, 2016 in Goa, India. On October 17, 2016, PM and President Temer held delegation-level deliberations to further strengthen the strategic partnership. Three MOUs were signed during the bilateral visit of President Temer, viz:

(i) MOU between ICAR and Brazilian Agriculture Research Corporation (EMBRAPA) for Cooperation in the fields of Genetic Resources, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Natural Resources and Fisheries;

(ii) MOU between Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries (DADF) and Brazilian Agriculture Research Corporation (EMBRAPA) on cooperation in the Fields of Zebu Cattle Genomics and Assisted Reproductive Technologies;

(iii) MOU between Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) and the Brazilian Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) for cooperation in the field of pharmaceutical production regulation.

The two sides agreed to explore the early signing of an Investment Cooperation and Facilitation Treaty that will act as a catalyst to boost trade and economic ties. An Agreement between Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and the Brazilian Association of Technical Norms (ABNT) for Cooperation in Mutual Recognition was also signed on October 24, 2016. Other areas of cooperation discussed during the bilateral meeting were UNSC reforms, IBSA, bilateral trade, agriculture, food processing, energy, science and technology, pharmaceuticals, space, nuclear energy, climate change, counterterrorism and cyber security.

The Third Meeting of the Joint Administrative Committee (JAC) on India-MERCOSUR Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) was held on 29th September, 2016 in Brasilia. Exchange of the first list of 484 tariff lines took place in September 2017 as a first step towards widening the trade basket from 450 items for each side to 2500 lines each. The fourth meeting of the Brazil-India Trade Monitoring Mechanism (TMM) was also held on 30th September in Brasilia.

On March 16, 2017, India and Brazil initialed the text of the Social Security Agreement in Brasilia. The SSA when brought into force will help promote investment flows between the two countries.

The Seventh India-Brazil Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) co-chaired by the Foreign Ministers of the two countries was held in November 2015 in New Delhi. This mechanism discusses the entire gamut of the bilateral relationship. The 8th JCM could not be scheduled in 2017 and is due to be held in 2018.

Important Bilateral Visits:

Regular high level bilateral visits have provided a sustained impetus to the growing relationship between India and Brazil. At the invitation of Prime Minister, President Michel Temer visited Goa in October 2016 to attend the VIII BRICS Summit (15-16 October) and paid an official visit on 17 October, 2016. He was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. José Serra, Minister of Agriculture Mr. Blairo Maggi, Minister of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services, Mr. Marcos Pereira and large official and business delegations.

Previous visits from the Indian side were: Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi (July 2014), Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh (2006, April 2010 and June 2012), President Smt. Pratibha Patil (2008), President Shri K.R. Narayanan (1998), Prime Minister Shri Narasimha Rao (1992), Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi (1968) and Vice President Dr. S. Radhakrishnan (1954). Visits from the Brazilian side were: President Dilma Rousseff (March 2012), President Lula (2004, 2007 & 2008), and President Fernando Henrique Cardoso (1996).

Ministerial visits from India include: Shri Mansukh L. Mandaviya, Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Chemicals & Fertilizers (April 2017); Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister for Consumer Affair, Food and Public Distribution (August, 2016); Shri Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping (November, 2015); Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Harsh Vardhan (March 2015); Minister of Agriculture, Shri Radha Mohan Singh (March 2015); Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, MOS for Commerce and Industry (July 2014); Shri Salman Khursheed, Minister of External Affairs (October 2013); Shri Ajay Maken, Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (February 2013); Shri Beni Prasad Verma, Steel Minister (February 2013); Smt Jayanthi Natarajan, Minister of state for Environment and Forests (June 2012); Shri Anand Sharma, Commerce, Industry and Textile Minister (June 2012); Shri Sharad Pawar, Agriculture Minister (September 2010); Shri Jairam Ramesh, Environment Minister (July 2010); Smt. Preneet Kaur, Minister of State for External Affairs (May 2010); Shri S.M. Krishna, Minister of External Affairs (August-September 2009); and Shri P. Chidambaram, Finance Minister (Nov 2008).

The visits from Brazil include: Mr. Fernando Coelho Filho, Minister of Mines and Energy (November, 2016); Agriculture Minister, Mr. Blairo Maggi (September, 2016); Ambassador Mauro Vieira, Minister of External Relations (November 2015); Ms. Katia Abreu, Minister of Agriculture (November, 2015); Minister of External Relations Mr. Antonio Patriota (March and December 2011); Minister of Defence Nelson Jobin (March 2010); Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Mr. Miguel Jorge (March and October 2008); Minister of Health, Jose Temporao (July, 2008); Mr. Celso Amorim as Foreign Minister (April and July 2007, September 2009); Mr. Celso Amorim as Defence Minister (February 2012);

Commercial Relations:

Brazil is one of the most important trading partners of India in the entire LAC (Latin America and Caribbean) region. India-Brazil bilateral trade has increased substantially in the last two decades. However, the global drop in commodity prices and the economic recession in Brazil started in 2015 affected Brazil’s overall trade. Consequently, the negative impact was felt in bilateral trade as well when it came down to USD 7.9 Billion and USD 5.64 Billion in years 2015 and 2016 respectively. However, with slight recovery in Brazilian economy in year 2017, the bilateral trade between India and Brazil rose to USD 7.6 Billion with growth of 34.71%, the highest growth among the top 10 trading partners of Brazil. Indian exports to Brazil and imports from Brazil stood at US$ 2.94 Billion and US$ 4.66 billion respectively with India having a trade deficit of USD 1.7 Billion. In the ranking for the largest trading partners of Brazil, India rose to 10th position from 11th position in year 2016. Diesel imports from India, which used to form 40-50% of the export basket, has seen a continuous slump since 2014. It further declined in both volume and value terms in year 2017 when India exported 76 million kg worth USD 43 Million (1.46% share) as against 465 Million kg worth USD 169 Million in the last year, resulting in a humongous decline of -74.67% in dollar terms y-o-y. This resulted in slipping to 8th spot as top exporters of diesel oil to Brazil from 2nd position in year 2016. The other prominent export items from India were organic chemicals and pharmaceutical products valued at USD 1.19 Billion, Man-made filaments worth USD 249 million and Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances worth USD 247 Million. The other important export items included textile products (synthetic filaments/fibres, cotton, apparels, accessories etc.) which amounted to US$ 454 million. Brazilian exports to India were also weighed in favour of Petroleum products, mainly crude oil of worth USD 1.5 Billion. India also imported cane sugar worth USD 924 Million, copper ore worth 482 million, soya oil worth US$ 377 million and gold worth US$ 157 million.

Trade Figures – 2017

(USD in Billion)




Growth % of Export

Growth % of Import

Brazil’s Trade with India






Brazil’s total global trade






Brazil’s overall trade with the world showed sign of recovery with 14% growth in year 2017. This also affected India-Brazil bilateral trade positively showing a remarkable growth of 35% in the year which was also the highest bilateral trade growth amongst the top trading partners of Brazil despite of the fact that a negligible quantity of diesel oil, which used to form between 40-50% of India’s total exports to Brazil, was exported to Brazil during the period. The improved trade also resulted in India’s gaining a spot to rise to 10th position among the top trading partners of Brazil.

A plethora of sectors have seen investments between India and Brazil. While the Brazilian companies have invested in automobiles, IT, mining, energy, biofuels, footwear sectors in India, the Indian companies have invested in such sectors as IT, Pharmaceutical, Energy, agri-business, mining, engineering and automobiles. On 21 February, 2018, an important business event organized in the Embassy brought together prominent businesses from both sides for a B2B interaction exploring the opportunities of enhancing bilateral investments.


Brazil and India signed an agreement in 2003 for defence cooperation which was ratified by Brazil in 2006. The agreement calls for cooperation in defence related matters, especially in the field of Research and Development, acquisition and logistic support between the two countries. Subsequently, Defence Wing was established in the Embassy of India, Brasilia on 24 December 2007 and Brazil opened its Defence Wing in the Embassy of Brazil, New Delhi on 14 April 2009. The Joint Defence Committee flows from Article 3 of the Defence Cooperation Agreement. Four JDC meetings have taken place so far between the two sides. The 4th JDC meeting was held on 16-18 Jun 2015 in Brazil. Raksha Mantri met his counterpart Mr. Raul Jungmann on April 26, 2017 on the sidelines of the VI Moscow Conference on International Security. Both sides agreed to explore cooperation in the areas of ship building, aircraft manufacturing and space. The 5th JDC was held during 27-29 November 2017 in New Delhi.

Cultural Relations:

In Brazil, there is enormous interest in India’s culture, religion, performing arts and philosophy. The first forms of Indian Culture to reach Brazil were related to spirituality, philosophy and religion. Folkloric identities and celebrations from India could relate very much to the jolly and colorful nature of the festivities such as the typical dances and parades of north and northeast of Brazil. The first classical Indian art form to come to Brazil was Bharatanatyam; Odissi, Kathak and Kuchipudi followed. There are numerous organizations teaching Yoga all over Brazil. Ramakrishna Mission, ISKCON, Satya Sai Baba, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Bhakti Vedanta Foundation and other spiritual gurus and organizations have chapters in Brazil.

Brazil has a strong community of Yoga and Ayurveda practitioners. The Brazilian Association of Ayurveda (ABRA) is a non-profit association with offices in 9 states of Brazil and has members all over Brazil. An International Congress on Ayurveda was organized in the State of Goias in Brazil from 12-14 November 2013. The event was co-sponsored by Department of AYUSH, Ministry of health and family welfare, Government of India and State government of Goias. The third International Congress on Ayurveda was held from 12 to 15 March, 2018 in Rio de Janeiro. The conference saw participation of more than 4000 delegates, including many from India.

The International Day of Yoga, 2015 was celebrated in 12 major cities of Brazil. On June 21, 2015, President Dilma Rousseff congratulated Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on twitter and the PM thanked the Brazilian President for her greetings. Brazil Post issued a stamp on this occasion.

The Embassy has been conducting Yoga classes at its chancery complex thrice a week since January, 2016 which has been increased to four times per week since September 2017 due to their popularity among the Brazilians. These classes have attracted Yoga practitioners from all walks of life including the diplomatic community in Brasilia. The average number of Yoga practitioners per class varies between 60-80. ‘Chá com Letras’, a regular event focusing on readings of Brazilian poetry inviting Brazilian poets to the Embassy, has received great appreciation in the literary circles of Brasilia. Regular shows of Indian cinema organized by the Embassy have been received well in Brazil.

The 2nd International Day of Yoga 2016 was celebrated in Brasilia, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro with active participation of Art of Living members, diplomatic community, yoga schools and followers of yoga and meditation from all walks of life.

The 3rd International Day of Yoga (IDY 2017) was celebrated in Brasilia, Sao Palo, Rio de Janeiro and other major cities of Brazil with participation from all walks of life, diplomats, government officials, Yoga teachers and practitioners, among others. The Embassy also organized a talk on Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam (The World is a Family) on this occasion. Mr. Marcos Resende, President of the Theosophical Society of Brazil and Mr. U.S. Pandey, an inspirational speaker from India addressed the gathering. Earlier, a delegation of Ministry of Ayush and the Embassy participated at the 11th Brazilian Holistic Meeting in Porto Alegre, capital of Mato Grosso state in March 2017. The Embassy also organized screening of films on Yoga as well as talks on Yoga by Mr. Benoy Behl in Brasilia and Sao Paulo in May 2017, with support from Indian Council for Cultural Relations. Lectures on Yoga were also organized by the Embassy on April 6 and May 10 in coordination with Art of Living.

Mahatma Gandhi is highly regarded in Brazil and the government and NGOs are trying to inculcate the philosophy of non-violence among students, youth and police. Statues of Mahatma Gandhi have been installed in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Londrina. An organization called Filhos de Gandhi (Sons of Gandhi) is very popular in Salvador, Brazil and takes out street processions wearing Gandhian attire every year.

India cinema is also popular among the Brazilian people. Indian Film weeks organized by the Embassy and Consulate have received a good response. Brazilian Post issued a commemorative stamp in May 2014 on “100 years of Indian Cinema” and marked International Day of Yoga on 21 June 2015 with the issue of another commemorative stamp. Caminhos das India (paths of India), a TV serial inspired from Indian society, is extremely popular in Brazil and was re-telecast on the popular Brazilian TV channel Globo. A month long festival of Indian cinema is being organized in Rio de Janeiro from 23 April 2018.

The fourth edition of “Food Week of India” was organized from January 27-31, 2015 in Brasilia, showcasing diversified cuisines of India. The Festival was well received by the local Brazilian people and international community.

An 8-member troupe led by Padma Bhushan Dr. L. Subramaniam gave spellbinding performances at prestigious venues in Brasilia and Sao Paulo on December 3-4, 2016.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of Art of Living Foundation, visited various cities of Brazil from December 14-17, 2016, during which he held discussions with local authorities, conducted meditation sessions and gave discourses. He met President Temer on 14 December in Brasilia.

Under Ministry of External Affairs’ initiative to promote Indian states, a cultural troupe from Rajasthan, comprising of a Kalbelia dance group, five artisans and a master chef, visited Brazil from April 7-12, 2017. While dance group’s performances and the products of the five artisans were highly appreciated, the master chef offered select Rajasthani cuisine to specially invited guests. Local media gave wide publicity to various aspects of Rajasthan state.

A ten-day long Festival of India was organized in Brasilia, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India and Embassy of India in Brazil from August 31 to September 9, 2017, to celebrate the completion of 70 years of India’s independence. The Festival featured an exhibition on the life of Mahatma Gandhi, enthralling performances of Carnatic music by renowned Indian musicians, scintillating performances of Kathak and celebration of Indian literature, with renowned Indian poets sharing gems of Indian literature with Brazilian audience. All these events were attended by Brazilian government officials, Ambassadors, media personnel, culture lovers and friends of India.

On 30 November, 2017, the Embassy organized a cultural evening showcasing elements of cuisine, culture, architecture and tourism of the Indian state of Goa. On 18 December, 2017, in continuation of its efforts at promoting the diverse cultures of Indian states in Brazil, the Embassy organized a cultural evening showcasing elements of cuisine, culture, architecture and tourism of the Indian states of Punjab and Bihar. To further these efforts and to mark the 70 years of India-Brazil diplomatic relations, the Embassy organized a cultural evening on 5 February 2018, celebrating the Indian state of Karnataka. The event was marked by the launch of the book “Uma Arvore em Flor”, Portuguese version of the book “A Flowering Tree and Other Oral Tales from India” written by celebrated Indian author A.K. Ramanujan. The book is a collection of 77 famous folktales from Karnataka. On 6 February 2018, the Embassy organized an evening of Carnatic music presented by renowned violinist Dr. L. Subramaniam and celebrated singer Mrs. Kavita Krishnamurti.

ITEC Programme:

About 55 Brazilians have gone to India under ITEC programme for training in communications, management, defence etc. in the last seven years. ITEC courses continue to gain popularity amongst Brazilians, and a number of students have enrolled for the current session.

Indian Community in Brazil:

The Indian community of PIOs/NRIs in Brazil is small, numbering around 4700 people, with a majority of them living in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Manaus. The community mainly comprises professionals, businessmen and some scientists/researchers in space, agriculture, physics and biotechnology. There is an Indian Association in Sao Paulo.

Useful Resources:

Embassy of India, Brasilia

Website: http://indianembassy.org.br/ Embassy of India, Brasilia

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/indiainbrazil Embassy of India, Brasilia

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/indiainbrazil

Youtube: India in Brazil


April, 2018